salmon soup with olives & saffron aioli - photo philip blankenship

This full-bodied soup is bordering the density of stew and without being spicy, it is packed with interesting flavors. When potatoes are grated the natural starch separate from the flesh, and when added to the hot liquid, it immediately thickens the soup to a lovely, hearty consistency. For the perfect flavor combination, serve with Saffron Aioli – recipe here.

salmon soup with olives & saffron aioli

2 pounds fresh salmon
8 cups fish or vegetable stock
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large leek, thinly sliced
1 cup thickly grated carrots
½ cup thickly grated parsnips
½ cup thickly grated celery root
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups thickly grated potatoes (preferably starchy potatoes like Russets)
1½ cups dry white wine
1 cup black olives, pitted and cut in half
¼ cup capers
¼ cup chopped parsley
oil for frying


Cut salmon into ½-1″ cubes, cover and set aside.

Boil stock with salmon skin, parsley stems and the dark green part of the leek for 30 minutes.

Lightly fry onion, leek, carrots, parsnips and celery root in oil.

In a separate pan, fry chopped garlic and tomato paste in oil for a few minutes while stirring.

Preferably in a clay pot, combine strained stock, vegetables and garlic paste with grated potatoes and wine. Make sure to include the thick, glue-like starch that has separated from the grated potatoes, as it will work as a natural thickener. Stir and simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables turn soft.

Add olives, capers and chopped parsley. Salt to taste and bring back to a quick boil.

Turn off the heat and add salmon cubes. Gently stir until combined, cover and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Serve immediately with Saffron Aioli.

Serves 6-8

salmon soup with olives & saffron aioli - photo-philip blankenship

Kyoto-Black Hors D’Oeuvre Plate by Sasaki China.

Photography by Philip Blankenship.